SK is a musician from Boston, MA whose music navigates between hip hop, R&B, and pop. SK describes growing up in New Jersey listening to Aaron Neville, the Dixie Chicks, David Gray, and Sheryl Crow in his mom’s car and Lynard Skynard, Eric Clapton, and BB King with his dad. On the middle school bus, he was jamming out to CDs of Jay Z, 50 Cent, Linkin Park, and Fort Minor. SK started playing guitar in high school after one of his sisters began taking lessons and started writing country songs, before veering towards hip hop. An excellent runner he was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in his freshman year and also had mental health problems in his junior year of college.
SK says that he learned about himself through pain but never wanted to believe that depression was something he couldn’t conquer. So finding a way out was imperative for him. Music provided the escape valve as SK started taking night classes in music production in Cambridge and worked his way through all the technicalities of the trade. All of which brings us to now, and his latest single release “I Need You”.
A modern fusion of soul, hip-hop, and R&B, is a genre blend which just makes sense for the SK sound. It has elements of newness, but the whole thing is infused with old school charm and classic beauty. This is music both for the masses and for the more critical listeners.
There’s enough catchy hooks to grab a general audience and enough music depth to grab music lovers. Only the most musically prejudiced people could find any fault with this piece of work. SK’s voice is clearly the highlight of this track, as his vocals wraps itself around the warm, soulful beat.
“I Need You” sees SK singing in extreme highs, extreme lows and everything in between, including handling his own rap verses. But I must give credit, where credit is due. While SK’s voice is the main feature, his layered soundscape is very tight too and does an excellent job of never exceeding, or over-powering him, but providing him with a perfectly complementary beat to work his melody over. It showcases the kind of artist SK is, and the well-balanced depth of his creativity.
And while SK’s music invariably boasts glistening surfaces, there seems to be plenty of rugged soul beneath the facade. Great songs usually maintain their sense of wonder long after the infatuation stage has worn off, and that’s what a track like “I Need You” achieves. It celebrates how far SK has come and how rosy his future looks – marking a smooth, appealing, and refreshingly consistent single release, by a formidable new talent.